We all associate play with having fun – indeed playing is so much fun (for children and their parents alike)! It is also how babies, toddlers and children work out the world around them – who they are, how life works and how they fit in! Play is learning.
Play is essential for child development and playing with purpose (structured play such as junior gymnastics classes, learn to swim classes, story time at the local library) is a fantastic way to help build your child’s confidence and develop their language, socialisation and physical skills in a happy, safe and fun environment!
The National Literacy Trust in the UK has some great information on the importance of play for children’s development. We loved some of their top reasons why play is important.
Closer to home in Australia, Kids Matter is an Australian Early Childhood Mental health initiative. They too have done interesting studies on how play helps children feel good about themselves.
Here are our Top 5 – why play is important (& why we play with purpose at Jnr Gym Kids)!
- Play is an important foundation for literacy as children interact, speak with each other and to coaches/teachers/parents, practice new words and stimulate their imagination (especially through the rich language of themes).
- Play is Learning. Children need to learn! It is built in – and play wires up the brain, fulfilling this need as they learn about their environment, learn about their peers, learn to be active and much more!
- Play lets children test their limits through physical activity, balancing, jumping & rolling (all of the things we love at Jnr Gym Kids).
- Play develops social and emotional skills in children – establishing them for future success and well being. As children interact with one another during play (structured and unstructured), they learn to express their feelings, negotiate with others and manage themselves and their relationships.
- Play builds self-confidence. When playing, children make decisions (what role they play in the game, what activity they do next at gymnastics), increasing their confidence, self-effacy and competence.
So enjoy playing with your child – be it unplanned at home and in the park, or more organised play like gymnastics & swimming. You are helping them in so many ways and they are learning so much!
Delta Jnr Gym Kids play with purpose in every lesson. Our goal is to help build confident, active and happy children! What better way to learn and develop, than having fun in the gym!